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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Clash Of The Titans In The 25K World Championships

The start list for the men’s 25K World Open Water Swimming Championship race include the reigning world 25K champion, Valerio Cleri of Italy, and the reigning English Channel record holder, Petar Stoychev of Bulgaria.

It is going to be a Battle Royale, especially since Valerio is swimming so strongly and confidently.

What makes this clash of the titans so interesting is that Petar has had a stranglehold on long-distance swims in Lac St-Jean for 9 years, going undefeated during that unprecedented 9-year reign in the 32K Traversee Internationale du Lac St-Jean. Petar knows this lake like no one else. But he also came to lac St-Jean without any approved FINA swimsuit so he is searching for suitable swimwear.

On the other hand, Valerio is the defending 25K world champion who proved his toughness in last year's rough conditions at the 2009 World Championships in Ostia, Italy. Valerio, swimming fast in a new Jaked, showed his speed in the 10K - and his renowned endurance and training sessions are well-known in the elite circles. "He trains so hard," admitted his competitor Brian Ryckerman of Belgium.

Besides these two men, there is a very fast (7:16) English Channel swimmer, Rostislav Vitek of the Czech Republic, and FINA Grand Prix veteran Damian Blaum of Argentina who recently completely dominated the Maratona del Golfo Capri-Napoli (FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix in Capri-Napoli). "I feel good," said Damian. "And the water is very good."

And so is the competition. The start list for tomorrow's 25K includes:

1. Damian Blaum of Argentina
2. Raul Alberto Macedo of Argentina
3. David Browne of Australia
4. Sergiy Fesenko of Azerbaijan
5. Petar Stoychev of Bulgaria
6. Simon Tobin of Canada
7. Xavier Desharnais of Canada
8. Tomislav Soldo of Croatia
9. Josip Soldo of Croatia
10. Rostislav Vitek of the Czech Republic
11. Libor Smolka of the Czech Republic
12. Joanes Hedel of France
13. Bertrand Venturi of France
14. Edoardo Stochino of Italy
15. Michal Skrodzki of Poland
16. Ivan Afanevich of Russia
17. Vasily Boykov of Russia
18. Josef Kinderwater of USA
19. Alexander Meyer of USA

Photo of pack swimming at the world championships by Dr. Jim Miller.

Copyright © 2010 by Steven Munatones

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